Rec Center upgrading technology at front desk

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    The University Recreation Center is working to add student photos to its check-in program at the front desk.

    This update follows the arrest of a man named Tyriq Butler who was charged with stealing iPhones from the Rec Center after swiping in with another student’s identification card.

    Employees at the front desk of the Rec Center use a name-based software to check in students and members, but Jay Iorizzo, the associate director of facilities, said one drawback to the program is that it does not incorporate photos of the person checking in.

    “The slight drawback right now with that software is that we don’t have student pictures populated right now into that software,” Iorizzo said. “We do have all of our alumni and faculty staff because they choose to be members and they have their picture taken. They are in our system. Every student is granted access as a member, so we don’t have their picture.”

    Currently, employees at the front desk are responsible for checking the photo on the ID and making sure it matches the person checking into the facility.

    Iorizzo said that the university is working with the maker of the software to incorporate student photos into the system, so employees can verify that the person checking into the facility is the person on the ID card.

    Situations such as the arrest of Butler make some TCU students feel uncomfortable about leaving unsecured wallets, keys or cell phones on benches or in cubbies in the Rec Center.

    Ian Biggs, a senior entrepreneurial management major, said he has a locker in the Rec Center but often chooses to only use it when he showers in the locker room.

    “When I walk in, I toss my stuff in the cubby unsecured," Biggs said. "Usually I'll toss my jacket over it, but sometimes I don’t. I feel pretty safe."

    Tiffany Pittman, a first-year business major, said she also leaves her items unsecured.

    “I’m a pretty trusting person, so I am just trusting on the honor system that no one will steal my stuff," Pittman said.

    Iorizzo said that the Rec Center offers lockers in the basketball gym and in the locker rooms, but the staff often sees those lockers going unused.

    “Unfortunately we don’t always see those taken advantage of as opposed to someone just leaving their phone right on the side of the court or the bleachers,” Iorizzo said.

    The Rec Center has been outfitted with security cameras, but Iorizzo encouraged students to secure their own items.

    “I do think there is some due diligence with any individual to secure their own belongings, so a suggestion would be if you do have something of value, a wallet, a phone, that you keep that close to your person,” Iorizzo said.

    With additional caution from the students and the possible addition of student photos to the check-in software, Iorizzo said he is confident that the Rec Center will continue to be a safe place for TCU students to work out and exercise.